Swail and Hanley feature in Arezzo Grand Prix as Chimirri completes Italian Job – while Irish Youth riders shine in Belgium

  • 8 April 2018, 16:57

Co Down’s Conor Swail has taken runner-up spot in today’s (Sunday) four-star Grand Prix at Arezzo in Italy to take home just over €11,000. Thirteen combinations made it through to the jump-off including Mayo’s Cameron Hanley who briefly held the lead with Quirex before eventually finishing fifth.

Swail took over top spot with a clear in 40.71 with the nine-year-old Domino van de Valhoeve but was overtaken by Italian home favourite Bruno Chimirri and Tower Mouche who collected the winners prize with a time of 40.27.

Earlier in Arezzo, Meath’s Alexander Butler scored a victory in the 1m45 ranking class. Riding the 11-year-old gelding Theoreme du Desir, he produced the fastest clear of 64.83 seconds to take the top prize of just over €6,000.

Across the Atlantic, Offaly’s Darragh Kenny and Cassini Z grabbed a place on the podium and a cheque for €45,000 in Saturday night’s Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix at Miami Beach in Florida, USA.

Meanwhile Irish Youth riders completed a remarkable weekend in Belgium by winning both the Junior and Pony Grand Prix’s. Wexford’s Harry Allen stormed to victory in the Junior (U18) Grand Prix at Opglabbeek. He was the sole Irish representative in a 13-horse jump-off and riding the nine-year-old gelding Dis Moi Tout de Clairbois, he jumped clear in 41.03 to finish over two seconds ahead of Belgian runner-up Max Sebrechts with Cacacha van het Schaeck.

The later Pony Grand Prix saw Irish riders fill the top two places. Kilkenny’s Seamus Hughes-Kennedy took the winners trophy with the Barbara O’Reilly-Hyland-owned Rock Dee Jay. Drawn third to go in a 10 horse jump-off, they posted what proved an unbeatable clear in 35.98. Tipperary’s Max Wachman and the Coolmore Showjumping-owned Aughnashammer completed an Irish 1-2 by finishing second with a clear in 36.67. Francis Derwin was first to go in the jump-off for Ireland with Rincoola Babog (ISH) and they produced the fastest time of the second round (34.13) but one fence down saw them finish ninth.

The three Irish riders, along with Tom Wachman, were part of Gary Marshall’s team that won the Pony Nations Cup on Saturday at the same venue.

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